Warning: The article contains SPOILERS for Gen V episode 6, “Jumanji.”
- Soldier Boy’s hilarious cameo in Gen V episode 6 almost went to Taylor Lautner, who would have played a guide in Cate’s mind before exploding.
- Despite the change in actor, the character’s fate would have remained the same, with Lautner’s version also dying in the same way.
- The decision to cast Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy was made because it provided a clever and entertaining way to introduce the character into the spinoff.
Soldier Boy was not the first choice to be Gen V‘s hilarious episode 6 cameo, as another familiar face was considered for the part. Delivering a somewhat self-contained installment, which takes place within the memories of Cate (Maddie Phillips), Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) shows up for a quick and entirely NSFW cameo. He introduces himself as Cate’s imaginary friend from when she was younger and helps the group understand how to escape Cate’s memories.
But in an interview with Variety to break down Gen V episode 6, executive producer Eric Kripke and co-showrunner Michele Fazekas reveal that Taylor Lautner was initially considered for the cameo that eventually went to Soldier Boy in episode 6, “Jumanji,” which was written by Rachel Goldberg and directed by Lauren Greer. Lautner, known for playing the werewolf Jacob Black in the Twilight movies, would have been similar to Soldier Boy’s cameo. Kripke (who created The Boys TV show) jokes about why Lautner’s cameo didn’t happen. Fazekas, meanwhile, confirms what Lautner’s fate would have been. Read the quotes below:
Eric Kripke: In one of the early drafts of the script, it was meant to be a guide in Cate’s mind that shows up, lays out a couple of rules, and then explodes. If I remember correctly, in the earliest drafts it was Taylor Lautner. And the characters were wandering through the woods, and then they’re like, “Taylor Lautner?!” And he’s like, “Ya, I’m Cate’s crush! Cate used to masturbate to me. Anyway, here’s the rules.” And then he blows up.
Michelle Fazekas: Still died in the same way.
Kripke: And it was a shorter scene. And I don’t remember whether we ever went to him, or he had the good sense to just pass immediately. But we were like, OK, so what should we do? We were always thinking, we really should get Soldier Boy into the spinoff, and we were looking for a part. We said this is the greatest, because it’s hard to get him into the real world because he’s technically in a CIA basement somewhere unconscious. So this felt like a really smart and fun way to bring him in.
Taylor Lautner’s Scrapped Gen V Cameo Would’ve Been Great
Ackles’ NSFW cameo drew a lot of praise, with some on social media even jokingly asking for a Soldier Boy-centric spinoff. But it would have been funny to see Lautner as another overt nod to the early 2010s period in which Cate grew up. At the time, along with Twilight co-stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Lautner was one of the biggest stars in the world. Lautner largely took a step back from acting once Twilight ended, save for a few television roles in the British comedy Cuckoo and Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens. He also completed work on smaller movies made around the same time as Twilight.
Over the past year, Lautner has somewhat returned to the spotlight, with a supporting role in the Netflix movie Home Team and more interviews about his time away from the entertainment industry. But his absence would have brought a lot to Gen V, perhaps sparking fond memories and nostalgia for those who followed Lautner a decade earlier. It would have also fit The Boys‘ overall approach to cameos, as the series has featured quick celebrity cameos before.
Lautner, who also recently appeared in the Taylor Swift music video for “I Can See You Now,” is hardly averse to poking fun at his public image and taking on roles that go against what people expect of him. That was the case, for example, with both Cuckoo and Scream Queens to a lesser extent. Hence, he would have fit right in with Gen V.